I’d been having contractions for a couple weeks, and I’d gone to the hospital twice thinking I was in labor. The day before Owen was born, I was keeping track of my contractions, but they weren’t very consistent. I was getting ready for bed and I went pee, and just as I was about to stand up… I peed a little more. Now. There are tons of weird things that happen to your body when you’re pregnant…. And this felt weird. I don’t remember my water breaking with Jack’s birth, but I was pretty sure that’s what had happened.
When I called the hospital, they told me to come get checked out, and sure enough the test showed that my water broke.
Owen was born on February 12, 2015 weighing 7lbs 3oz. Right before he was born, his heart rate dropped and I heard my midwife calmly but assertively say that it was time to call the doctor to bring in the vacuum. This scared the $h!t out of me (side note: prior to Owen’s birth I had started to worry about this seemingly archaic concept).
When my midwife told me it was time to push again, I used every muscle in my body to get that sweet baby out; but he still didn’t come. When the midwife said I could stop pushing I refused. There was no way I wanted the doctor sucking my delicate baby out of me. Instead, I was going to push and push and push until the little baby was out.
In hindsight, I’m almost certain that calling for the doctor & vacuum is a secret code that labor & delivery teams use to scare moms into working harder. It certainly worked for me! Owen was out before the doctor arrived.
After some rest, I was ready to head home. But we were waiting for our new baby to have his first bowel movement. The doctor was surprised that after 24 hours, he had not yet made his first dirty diaper. However, he told the nurse to let nature take its course.
Kirby came to the hospital to pick me up and hung out while we waited for Owen to poop so we could head home. As the afternoon passed, it seemed like we would be staying another night. After Kirby left, I was changing Owen’s diaper when I remembered something my sister said. Kirby, who was in nursing school at the time, mentioned a case that she recently read. Apparently, a baby had been born without a hole in his bottom.
While changing Owen’s diaper, I decided to… check. I immediately realized that Owen wouldn’t be pooping anytime soon and called for the nurse. She quickly reassured me that babies just have small bodies and it just looked that way, but after looking at Owen… She called for the charge nurse. Then, the NICU nurse came to check out my baby’s booty.
The next thing I knew Owen was having an ultrasound of his torso and we were being prepped for a trip to Seattle Children’s Hospital.
If it hadn’t been for Kirby’s interest in nursing, for her studious nature and remembering one case study… it would have meant several more hours before the doctors discovered that something was wrong. By the time we reached SCH, Owen bowels were extremely dilated and his tummy so distended... I hate to think how much pain he would have been in if it had not been for his Aunt Kirby.